Profit-Athletes’ Athletic Role Set and Post-Athletic Transitions

Victor D. Kidd – University of South Carolina
Richard M. Southall – University of South Carolina
Mark S. Nagel – University of South Carolina
Jerry F. Reynolds II – Louisiana State University
Anna M. Scheyett – University of Georgia
Christian K. Anderson – University of South Carolina


There are several organizational, social and psychological factors that may impede profitathletes’ successful transition out of their salient athletic role set. Consequently, this article summarizes the results of post-athletic surveys and interviews of (n = 17) former National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) profit-athletes from a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) university. Analyzed data reveal clear evidence of prominence of athletic role set, including normative expectations, athletic role domination, salient athletic identity, and post-eligibility career transition difficulties, regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, degree completion, or sport. The results indicate all participants experienced various degrees of athletic role engulfment, which impacted their overall athlete career transition experience. Researchers discuss implications for sport, specifically the need for proactive programming to address athletic role engulfment to ensure positive athlete career transition experiences.